At a ceremony in Oshawa, Ontario, Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa; Oshawa Mayor John Gray, and Mr. Pierre Santoni, VIA Rail's National Sales Director, announced VIA's plans for a new station with improved and expanded facilities. VIA estimates that it will invest as much as C$7 million for the new station and related improvements from recent capital funding for VIA announced by the Government of Canada. Of the project's total cost, $3 million will come from the government's Economic Action Plan.
"Investment in a new VIA
station for Oshawa will not only create new jobs and stimulate the economy but
also allow VIA to provide better service to its local customers," said MP
Carrie. "By investing in rail services and facilities such as those here in
Oshawa, our government is stimulating economic activity and job creation,
contributing to environmental sustainability and improving Canada’s passenger
rail system for years to come."
VIA’s Pierre Santoni added,
"The investments here in Oshawa and across our coast-to-coast route network
will create a top-notch passenger rail service. A rail service that is safe,
fast and sustainable. A rail service that is designed for Canadians in the 21st
century. We are delighted that the citizens of Oshawa are going to be a part of
this new era in rail travel."
VIA’s new Oshawa station
will be fully-accessible and adjacent to the existing building. VIA is
currently studying options for the design of the new station, with the final
design to be selected early next year. The new Oshawa station will replace a
structure originally built by the Canadian National Railway in the 1960s and
expanded by VIA in the 1990s.
C$300-million Kingston Subdivision Project will add sections of new main line
track and will include rearranging the track layout in some locations to
increase safety, train frequency and service reliability. In Oshawa, this
involves adding one new main line track and a second platform, as well as
reconfiguring the track layout. This cannot be done while still making use of
the existing station.
"Oshawa’s connection with
and affection for the railways goes back to 1856, when the Grand Trunk’s first
train steamed into town," said Mayor Gray. "It brought with it so many
opportunities for this city to grow and prosper. I’m convinced these VIA projects
can and will do the same today."
VIA’s Oshawa Station
Project is linked with other work now or soon to be under way throughout the
Quebec-Windsor Corridor, which generates almost 90 percent of VIA’s ridership
and 75 percent of its revenue. In combination, these projects will allow for
increases in VIA train safety, frequencies, on-time performance, as well as
reductions in travel time.
Major upgrading work is
also under way on key elements of VIA’s locomotive and rolling stock fleets for
corridor, transcontinental and remote service. Other infrastructure projects
are aimed at improving service quality and cost efficiency at other points
across VIA’s coast-to-coast route network. These upgrades are part of an
unprecedented C$923 million capital investment in passenger rail modernization
and expansion by the Government of Canada that is stimulating job creation,
skills development and private sector activity across the country.